tv This Week With Christiane Amanpour ABC December 12, 2010 8:00am-9:00am PST
welcome to viewers here and around the world. i'm christiane amanpour. and at the top of the news this week, deal -- >> my job is to do whatever i can to get this economy moving. >> or no deal. >> do we really need to give tax breaks to the rich? >> our caucus will not submit to hostage taking. we will not submit to this deal. >> democrats rebel against the president's tax cut plan, and he calls in reinforcements. >> if i were in office now, i would have done what the president has done. >> can obama get democrats on side? our headliner this morning, the president's top political adviser, david axelrod. then roadblock to peace. >> i regret that we have not gotten farther faster. >> as talks falter, the palestinian prime minister salam fayyad and israeli
opposition leader tzipi livni in a rare joint television interview only on "this week." can they map out a path to peace? plus, in the line of ire. royals put up in riots over drastic spending cut. >> charles, how are you doing tonight? >> i'll talk exclusively to former british prime minister gordon brown. is today's uk tomorrow's usa? and analysis of all the week's politics on our roundtable with george will, nobel prize-winning economist paul krugman, political strategist matthew dowd and abc's cokie roberts. plus "the sunday funnies." >> the worst drivers in the country in washington, d.c. well, yeah, if you're republicans, you can only turn right. democrats can only turn left and obama weaving all over the place. hello again.
hello again. the hat is expected to vote again on the senate is expected to vote again on the president's $860 billion tax cut plan on monday. in the house, democrats say not so fast. they want to make significant changes to the bill. the president is pressuring those in his own party to vote for the deal, and on friday, he even brought former president clinton into the briefing room to sell the plan. joining me now, white house senior adviser david axelrod. thank you for joining me. >> good to be here. >> you've heard as we started that some of your congressional democrats are saying they're not going to be held hostage to this and that they will not submit to it. will they? >> well, look, i don't put it in those terms. i think every single person in that building does not want taxes to go up on january 1st. does not want to see 2 million people lose their unemployment insurance. everybody understands what the implications for the economy would be and economists have spoken to it if that package doesn't move forward. so i believe that there will be a coming together around it. >> where is the room to negotiate? what can you offer them?
>> i'm not -- first of all, i'm not here to negotiate and, secondly, we have a framework. we have an agreement and i don't anticipate that it's going to change greatly. there have been some changes that folks in the house were concerned about the absence of an extension of an energy -- renewable energy tax credit. that is now included in the package, but in the main i don't see major changes. >> so not on the estate tax? >> look, christiane, the major compromise is that you have to accept things that you don't like in order to get things that are very important. this is a good package for the middle class. this is a good package for the economy. in addition to extending middle class tax cuts that were there, we're going to have a payroll tax cut. we're going to have business tax cuts that are going to spur hiring and growth in 2011. >> but you also -- >> this is an important step forward, and it would be a
terribly difficult one if it didn't. >> all right. but you're also having to sell something the president said he would never do, tax breaks for the very wealthy, and you've seen -- >> let me just correct you for a second. what the president said, what the republican plan was, a permanent tax cut for the wealthy, and the president would not have accepted a permanent tax cut for the wealthy that would have had budget implications into the future that we could not tolerate. it wouldn't have been right. it wouldn't have been fair. it would have been $700 billion that we couldn't afford that we would have to borrow from china and other countries. he refused to do that. this is a temporary tax cut and this was part of a compromise that includes tremendous help for families with children, for people who want to send their kids to college, the earned income tax credit, the payroll tax cut. this is going to mean thousands of dollars in the pockets of the average american. >> you say it's not going to be a permanent tax cut but look into your crystal ball because
certainly there are economists who believe this is the first step to making it permanent. it's a two-year deal. that's going to be right in the middle of when you are going to go back and try to get this president re-elected. are you going to head this fight again? >> well, you say there are economists who say that. this is fundamentally a political issue, and in 2012 we're going to have a big debate about this issue. we do not believe that we can extend these tax cuts for the wealthy permanently and we're going to fight very hard and we're going to let the american people who agree with us on this issue have a say. but at the same time, right now we face a situation where everyone's taxes would go up on january 1st. i think we're going to be in a fundamentally different position in 2012. the economy will be stronger. we'll have gone through a big debate on how we have to -- what we have to cut and give up. i don't think people are going to make that trade-off in 2012. >> do you think that the democrats in the house should have been brought in on these
negotiations? they say they feel presumably they have been completely blindsided. >> well, look, these came together -- these discussions came together very quickly. they were prompted by the looming deadline. we felt a sense of urgency. we brought them in when there was -- to begin that process. it just accelerated very quickly, and we felt that we had to seize the moment because if we didn't, the american people would pay the price. the economy would pay the price. >> do you think it's -- i want to know what the strategy is. you saw the funny we had up there. jay leno saying the left -- the liberals are going left. the conservatives are going right, and everybody else is going through the middle. is this a strategy? is the president ditching the liberal base? is he trying to be pragmatic? what is happening here? >> first of all, i think we should be less focused on the political equations here and more on the economic equations. >> well, i just want to ask you about -- >> that's what -- this is
important because the president's focus was one which is what do we do to keep the economy moving forward and what do we do to make sure middle class people do not see their taxes go up. what we got here was a package that prevented their taxes from going up and added additional tax cuts able to make a difference for them and the economy and that is -- that's a win for the american people. >> okay, but clearly you haven't been able to convince them because they're still as they say mad as hell and he had to bring in president -- former president bill clinton. >> you're talking about members of congress? >> yes. >> because the one public poll i saw showed very, very strong support for this compromise. >> but still the president -- >> the people count too. >> of course, they do, but he had to bring in to the briefing room presumably to speak to the american people the former president, bill clinton, and let's just put out what he said at the briefing room just this weekend. >> the agreement taken as a whole is i believe the best bipartisan agreement we can reach to help the largest number
of americans and to maximize the chances that the economic recovery will accelerate and create more jobs and to minimize the chances that it will slip back. >> so that's pretty succinct. i mean they really like it but this is the reason to have to do it. do you think the president -- he's got many tools at his disposal. he's commander in chief. he's all sorts of things including he owns the bully pulpit. do you think he's using it in the way that he needs to to sell these programs? >> oh, i think that he's been very -- he's been out there every day this week doing that and i think that's one of the reasons why there's strong public support for it. so, yes, i think he has. >> let me talk about the stakes. your outgoing top economic adviser larry summers, he caused quite a stir this week. he said if this doesn't pass,
the united states is headed for a double dip recession. >> i was there when he spoke. he said it would raise the possibility, materially raise the possibility of a -- >> double dip. okay. but he raised that -- he raised that word again. >> but there's no doubt that it would be deleterious to the economy. every economist has said -- look, almost every economist has raised their estimation of what our growth will be in 2011 based on this package. >> so what will this package do? >> well, what it'll do is in addition to putting money in the pockets of middle class people that they will spend and accelerate our economy, it includes some business tax cuts like one that will allow corporations and small businesses to buy equipment in the next year and to further taxes on it, and that will spur investment and get some of -- there's $1.8 trillion sitting on the books of corporations across this country. we want to get them in the game. this will help get them in the game. >> and on the key issue of employment, unemployment, you've said that it's going to create millions of jobs.
>> well, i haven't said it but outside consultants, mark zandi and others have said that, and there's no doubt that when you create economic growth, you also create hiring, and that's our goal. >> o. and what about the big issue that appears to be on everybody's mind, certainly the midterm elections spoke to it, and ha is the deficit and the debt. this will add another trillion dollars, so how do people take the administration seriously when they talk about trying to -- >> christiane, first of all, understand that much of this was baked into people's computations because it's an extension of tax cuts that were already on the books. there were about 350 billion in new tax cuts. yet they're all temporary. they're all temporary and the biggest thing we can do to help right ourselves is to get robust economic growth. without that our deficit situation is going to be materially worse, so in the long term these are not going to have impacts on our deficits for the
next few years, it will. >> and the u.s. can live with that? >> well, i think that what the u.s. can't live without is robust economic growth and that's what we're after. we want to see growth. we want to see hiring. we want to see people back to work. >> do you think you'll get the majority of democrats on your side? >> i think we're going to get strong support on both sides of the aisle. i respect people who are unhappy. we share their view on the upper income tax cuts, on the estate tax. that was a part of the deal odious though it may be that we had to accept in order to get all the good things that come along with the nature of compromise. i'm sure some will have a hard time getting over the hump. others will see that this is extraordinarily important for our economy and for people across this country that we not let this get to a washington-style standoff. >> we'll be watching.
thank you very much, indeed, david axelrod. and now to one of the administration's top foreign policy priority, middle east peace. but after two years of haggling, haranguing and hoping, the obama administration has little to show for its effort. this week direct peace talks between israeli and palestinian negotiators collapsed, and the united states has given up trying to get israel to freeze settlements as a condition for talks. a disappointing turn of events for president obama who from the first days of his administration was determined to get both sides directly talking to each other. >> america must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace. to the muslim world, we seek a new way forward. >> he came in as a potentially transformative president, louder, harder and faster on this issue than any of his predecessors. >> and on his second day in office, president obama appointed a special envoy to the region, george mitchell. >> he, in effect, had no strategy. it was an effort to repair american credibility with one audience, the arabs and the muslims, but it seemed to pay
very little attention to the political realities in israel. >> talks between the israelis and the palestinians had stalled for two years, and to move them along, president obama insisted that israel stop building jewish settlements where the palestinians planned to build their state. >> he wants to see a stop to settlements, not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions. >> israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu eventually agreed to a ten-month freeze on new construction, and at the end of august, the white house announced the resumption of long stalled face-to-face negotiations between the israelis and the palestinians. >> this moment of opportunity may not soon come again. they cannot afford to let it slip away. >> but it did. at the end of september, the settlement freeze ended, and the u.s. could not persuade israel to extend it. direct talks broke down, and now the process is back to where it started.
>> it is no secret that the parties have a long way to go and that they have not yet made the difficult decisions that peace requires. >> we're going to explore now what those difficult decisions are. it's a rare opportunity, exceedingly rare to have top palestinian and israeli officials together here for an interview. so joining me now, palestinian prime minister salam fayyad and israeli opposition leader former foreign minister tzipi livni. they are in washington to address the 2010 forum hosted by the brookings institution. welcome to both of you. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> let me ask you, ms. livni, as a representative of israel, how can israel do this, basically humiliate the united states, its biggest backer, its biggest donor of all sorts of aid and just say no to a request for another 90-day freeze in order to get this peace process
moving? >> well, i believe that it was the wrong answer. i believe that the relations between israel and the united states are existential to the future of the state of israel, but more than that, i believe that peace treaty between israel and the palestinians is an israeli interest. it's not a favor to president obama. and israel need to make these kind of decisions in order to live in peace, so basically peace treaty between israel and the palestinians is in american interest but it is also in israeli interest. >> so if you don't agree with basically rejecting the united states' request for this freeze, let me aks you, prime minister, how can your side now after all that the united states has put in, after all the goodwill the united states has given particularly to you and your efforts in your institution building, how can you now say, no, sorry, no freeze, no temporary freeze, we're not going to have direct talks? >> it's a question of credibility, the credibility of the political process achieved -- delivery of which is supposed to be an end to the
occupation that began in 1967. so when you experience the kind of difficulties that this particular process has experienced in the form of failure to get israel to comply with something as basic as to stop committing further violations to international law in the form of continued settlement expansion, the question, how can one rely on this process to deliver on occupation? it's question of political credibility. >> but the point is actually i know that there was a great deal of discomfort within the palestinian leadership when the administration insisted on this settlement freeze for talks. it sort of put president abbas in a bit of a strange position. could he not decide to go ahead since there are all these things on offer on the core, core issues now? >> we definitely would like to know what is offered on core issues. i mean that really is what this will be about and what we would like to know as early as possible is what it is that mr. netanyahu has in mind when he says palestinian state.
>> well, let me ask you then. you heard the speech on friday night here in washington. secretary clinton laid out the core issues, and of the big ones on jerusalem, she talked about, you know, how each side has to really be able to negotiate on what their aspirations are for jerusalem and also to keep it a place for all the world's faiths and populations. your own defense minister, ehud barak, went even further and talked about splitting jerusalem. >> and then the prime minister said today what barak said a few days ago is not a government policy. but i think that the good news is that what secretary clinton said, that they are going to discuss with israel and the palestinians their basic position on the core issues, and these are the difficult decisions that need to be taken in terms of israel's security for the future, border security. just one of the core issues that are on the table so basically the choice in the
middle east is sometimes between bad options so in choosing to build more buildings or making peace, i prefer to make peace, but it is also a matter of trust and the parties need to regain the trust. >> and on the issue of refugees, this has been a big issue obviously for the palestinians. on the refugees mrs. clinton said again that it's a difficult and emotional issue. it requires a just and permanent solution. is it time for the palestinians to recognize what basically everybody knows and that is that not all the 48 refugees are going to come back and that there must be a just compensation and a just solution to all of this. can the palestinians do this? >> the formulation used by the secretary at this event forum two days ago was appropriate. she talked about trust and fair resolution. this is one of the issues to be actually discussed and agreed along with borders, jerusalem, settlements and
the rest of the issues so we're looking forward actually to a process that could begin immediately. we already have indicated to the americans where we stand on the basic issues. i think what really needs to be done now in order to give the process the kind of credibility that is required is for us to really know the position -- where it is that the government stands on the fundamental issue of what it is that's meant by an israeli occupation. what is it that is meant a state of palestine. we're most troubled by what we hear -- especially made by the prime minister of israel when dealing -- when really the focus is on ending the occupation him continuing to use such loose language like we do not wish to continue to have control over the lives of palestinians. it's time for more precision, specificity. >> can i say something about refugees if i may because the concept of two states for two peoples means that israel is meant for the jewish people and that israel gave refuge to the jews who needed to leave europe and arab states after the --
before and after the creation of the state so does the palestinian state. so by definition the creation of the palestinian state is the answer to this sensitive -- sensitive problem of the palestinians, but this is the deal basically. >> in this regard secretary of state clinton also said that the united states will be offering bridging proposals. that's one state before offering a plan. do you look forward to the united states offering bridging proposals on these core issues? >> i believe that the best thing for israel is to negotiate to make the decisions and to make the deal itself. >> right, but since that hasn't happened -- >> and negotiate with the palestinians for nine months. i think it's possible and this -- what need to be -- this is the role of the israeli leadership, so i hope, i hope, hope hopefully the israeli government would make the decisions. >> and if they don't, would you be comfortable with the u.s.
bridging proposals? >> it depends on the substance, you know, it's not a matter -- we need to see what these bridging proposals are, whether they represent the interests of israel and i believe also not everything is a zero sum game. not everything which is poised for israelis or palestinians or vice versa -- the real proposals can represent the interest of israel and there are some that maybe are going to be problematic but it need to be judged in the future. >> well, the united states is committed into again reiterating -- >> i think -- >> -- committed to the security of israel and peace and saying that these issues do need to be dealt with and since they're not being dealt with, would your side agree and see as a possible positive thing u.s. bridging proposals? >> taken altogether i think it was clear that the secretary on the core issues had something to say, and we welcome that as a matter of fact. i looked at her statement as a solid statement, deliberate on
each of the issues. she had a middle definition going forward and she did say that the united states would come up with bridging proposals as appropriate when necessary. it may be necessary. it may be unavoidable actually for the united states acting as a broker at some point to come in with bridging proposals to make this happen. >> ms. livni -- >> it's the determination of the united states not giving the process and future treaty -- bridging proposals need to be seen in the future. >> that is the good news, that the united states says it will stay committed. many friends of israel are lamenting the fact that the united states has been given a sort of bloody nose in -- by the israeli government regarding these -- this settlement and the idea of pursuing these face-to-face talks, so you are sitting here with salam fayyad. the israeli government, the europeans, the united states, many governments around the world are astounded and impressed by what was done by
way of institutional building, economic growth in the west bank and security development. apparently it's one of the best times in terms of security by the palestinians certainly on the west bank. >> yes, it is. >> why is israel not able to give more to partners such as mr. fayyad to boost his credibility, to boost his ability to bring the population along and that of the palestinian leadership? >> basically i would like to show what you said about the important thing that salam, the prime minister fayyad is doing what we call changing the realities on the ground. israel is helping, is working with salam fayyad in order to do the best, and this is just one part of for the future because what he's doing is something that israel cooperates and helps to do, but it's not enough. the idea is to have something complementary, and this is the peace treaty, the legal peace treaty between israel and the palestinians, so we are helping, we're working with -- i think that you can say so israel. >> do you believe -- >> no, not enough relative --
>> but not enough. >> not enough. not enough. not really enough relative to the objective of having to see the occupation come to an end in the course of 2011. i mean that's what we're looking at. consistent with that one would think that -- >> do you think that's even possible? >> i think it is imminently possible. i think the expectations should be set right and they should be set high. unless that begins to happen, then, you know, then we'll be not able to continue along. what i have just said is this is not nearly enough relative to the objective of having to see the occupation come to a close in the coming year. there is no reason why we should not by now have begun to see evidence of the occupation beginning to be rolled back. we haven't seen such signs. it's very important for this -- our effort that we just referred to be seen as starting to make it. i think hugely important not only for us palestinians but also for israelis, as well. >> and do you -- you know, a lot
of palestinians have said, well, leadership will say we'll declare our own unilateral state. are you committed to that? >> what we're committed to is statehood. we're looking for a state. we did make a declaration of statehood going back to 1988 and this time around we're looking for a state on the ground. >> ms. livni, you did win more votes. is it time for to you try to go into a -- make another government, a coalition government? >> no, this is the current israeli coalition is the prime minister's -- netanyahu's choice. he decided to build this coalition with what he called his natural partners. my views about the peace process and the need to achieve peace are different from this coalition. i offered netanyahu in the past more than once to have a different coalition that cannot only speak about the ideal of two states for two people but also translate into peace treaty with the palestinians. he decided to have this coalition, unfortunately, because part of my frustration today is that we are sitting
together and two years ago it was not -- excuse me -- it was not news, it was not big deal. i mean we met israelis and palestinians on a daily basis in the negotiations room helping each other to solve problems on the ground. so i truly hope that there is a better understanding today in israel by the public and also leaders and politician that peace treaty is our own interest. it's not a favor to the united states and not even to the palestinians. >> on that note, i wish we had more time. thank you both, prime minister fayyad, tzipi livni. >> thank. >> you thanks. >> thank you so much for joining us. and coming up next, the tax cut debate on our roundtable with george will, nobel prize winning economist paul krugman, cokie roberts and political strategist matthew dowd, and later an exclusive interview with former british prime minister gordon brown as one of the first political leaders to bail out banks. he has a unique perspective on the current financial crisis. during its first year, the humpback calf and its mother
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i've been keeping the first lady waiting for about half an hour. so i'm going to take off. but -- >> i don't want to make her mad. please go. >> you're in good hands and gibbs will -- >> i had quite a good time, governor. i am happy to be here i suppose when the bullets that are fired are unlikely to hit me unless they're just ricocheted. there's no perfect bipartisan bill in the eyes of a partisan. i think the one thing that always happens when you have divided government is that people no longer see principled compromised as weakness. >> president obama hands over the podium to president bill clinton at the white house briefing room on friday. joining me now on our roundtable
is george will, paul krugman of "the new york times," abc's cokie roberts and political strategist matthew dowd. thank you all for being here. and we are going to talk about this tax compromise. it's all going to go and be voted on in the first round in the senate tomorrow. paul, you are not a fan. in fact, you wrote very, very stringently against it even though you admit he got more than you expected. >> yeah. i meaning this was a hostage deal. it was clearly the republicans were holding middle class tax cuts, unemployment insurance hostage for getting those upper end tax cuts. the president negotiated a release of the hostages, but he did so in part by giving more hostages. he set up another crisis. we keep on talking about what happens two years from now but it's what happens one year from now when the payroll extension and the unemployment insurance extension run out that worry me and the president is trying to sell it by saying, look, i got the release of some hostages, we know that. that's not the question. >> are you saying he should have let them expire? >> i think he ought to be prepared to do this. this is agonizing. i understand how tough this is
but basically the situation is where you're bargaining with people who are prepared to let the roof cave in and if you make it clear from the start as he did that he was not prepared to let it go, then, of course, he's going to get a deal that's not very good and there are ways you could have negotiated more that would have been better. >> he's calling you and your like delusional. living in fantasy land. >> well, it is a fantasy land because the fact is that, you know, 20% of the people in the last election identified themselves as liberal, and it's the liberals who are screaming and yelling about this. and the rest of the country is pretty happy. and i think that really what we're looking at here though is the administration terrified about the economy with the unemployment numbers ticking back up, the fact is is that they are -- this is a stimulus plan. that's what this is and it's trying to get some money pumping into the economy so that the unemployment rate comes down in time for the 2012 election. >> ah, but that's -- if i could just break in,
if you look at it, it's a one-year stimulus plan so it's actually going to help, no question, bring the unemployment rate down by the end of next year and then send it rising at least relative to what it otherwise would have been in 2012 so it's not even a good -- >> we'll see, won't we? >> george, paul and others are saying that the president got schnookered, but in that virally distributed column by charles trothham, he is saying that the republicans got schnookered and the president got a much better deal. do you think that's true? >> no, that's not. they made a deal with the cards they were dealt by an election which changed the calculus here in town. "the new york times" described this tax deal as odious. what is left for ethnic cleansing? they split the difference on this. the president wanted on the estate tax, for example, which, by the way, was bipartisan, it was worked out with jon kyl, republican of arizona, blanche lincoln, democrat of arkansas. the president wanted a 45% rate on estates beginning at 3.5 million. the republican, most of them
wanted zero, frankly. they don't think there should be a death tax, but they settled for 35% of estates of 5 million. what is the big deal? >> to me, to me we can debate and there will be some question in my mind whether this will have any effect on the economy. what i think is unfortunate is we have an election and the country basically says, barack obama, you went the wrong way, you didn't do bipartisanship, you didn't solve the problems of this country, then we have both political parties come together in a bipartisan agreement which doesn't deal with the problems really that exist in the country. that doesn't ask for the hard solutions that doesn't call the american public to any sense of leadership in this country and shared sense of sacrifice. basically they come up with a bipartisan solution that gives everything away and doesn't answer the hard questions. >> well, but i think that is -- i think that is the temporary answer. it is because there is a deadline which, is, of course where you get things done as you well know and the deadline of tax cuts running out, but the fact is that the bigger, sort of harder piece of -- >> wait a second. to me it's a lot like saying,
okay, i'm going to give you a bunch of cake and i'm going to give you a bunch of ice cream but in six months i'm going to ask you to go on a diet but right now go ahead and eat your cake and ice cream. >> the deficit hawks. the week before this compromise, the word was deficit, deficit, deficit. we must suffer and then all of a sudden we get something that blurs up the deficit by 850 billion for starters and probably much more because it is setting the stage for making a lot of this permanent and everyone goes silent and this is a teachable moment telling you all of the deficit hawking was entirely -- >> -- the stimulus and not so much attention to the deficit. >> right. the trouble is there is not a lot of -- there is some real stimulus in here but not much. the unemployment insurance extension for sure, the payroll tax cut maybe, the rest of the stuff is not really stimulus and the cost, i mean, if you think about cost and benefit, this is a very low benefit per cost. this is a really bad deal compared with -- >> i think the stimulus -- all
the people who think that the tax cut is going to people who are too rich should just go out and spend some money and then, you know, then we'll get some spending going. we have an obligation to spend. >> we're complaining because a lame duck session, which is inherently illegitimate, is not solving structural problems that have plagued the nation for a generation. >> that's right. >> the simple fact is that this session up here is a gathering of the exhausted levined by the repudiated. it shouldn't be doing anything. >> that's actually kind of agreed. i would have been happier actually -- i'm agonized about this. i understand it's tough. i actually think i would have been happier if they would not have done anything. >> you would have been happener to see the tacks rise? >> because we are setting ourselves up -- because i think part -- i think part of their hard bargaining -- >> that's politically untenable. you can't do that. >> you know, i think part of the republicans' stiffness on this, in fact, is a bluff. if the tax rates on their favorite constituents went up
they would be screaming for a deal, as well. >> what does this mean for bipartisanship? look, you've just talked about an election. the people really did say they want some bipartisanship and they want solutions to these huge problems. is this one beautiful moment of bipartisan bubble or does this -- >> well, it's a bipartisan -- it's a bipartisan moment that doesn't call the american public to any sense of leadership and that to me is not really a bipartisan moment. if you want a bipartisan moment you basically have to come together and make hard choices. this was not a conversation that made hard choices. >> but it was -- it was an attempt to make the president as his people describe him to show his pragmatic side. >> well, also mitch mcconnell claims the president talked to him more in the last two weeks than in the last two years and that is much more of an instance of bipartisanship. now, the president should have done a little bit more ground work with the democrats in the house, but now joe biden is doing that, but i think that what really happens in terms of bipartisanship is that on every issue, you put together a different coalition. and that's just common sense.
>> do you see this president doing what president bill clinton did during the triangulation going towards the center now? >> i'm not sure he knows what the center looks like in this country. in 2009, 3 days after his inauguration, he met with republicans in the white house who wanted to have some influence on the size and composition of the stimulus. his response to them was, i won. well, he just heard from them, we just won, and this is a changed political landscape. >> well, he did say elections have consequences and he's basically said that again as he's been pushing this through. >> christiane, the thing about -- everybody keeps trying to compare this to bill clinton in 1994 and the aftermath of the election. the huge difference between that is the economy was growing was doing well. bill clinton had made bad management decisions in the two years he had run up, a series of things travelgate, don't ask, don't tell, a bunch of things he could then adjust and make different decisions. barack obama is in an economy that's only worsened
since he's been president of the united states. he can only solve his problem managementwise if the economy improves. if the economy doesn't improve, he can have a thousand meetings with the republicans -- >> in an attempt to make the economy improve on its own. >> it's a very modest attempt and again the timing thing -- you have to think that the timing thing is critical. something that makes the economy improve for awhile and gives up the gains which is kind of what's in there. >> the last act, you know -- keep acting throughout -- >> borrow again -- >> you heard what david axelrod said, that, no, this is temporary. it's not going to be permanent. do you believe that? >> no, i mean it's -- >> do you believe it? >> really? >> what they did just now -- >> congress, congress works its will which is the way it's supposed to work. and they'll decide when we get to that. >> and let me just say all of this stuff -- i mean i talk to the guys who do number crunching on elections. all of this stuff about triangulating, they say none of it matters. what matters is the economy and
specifically what matters is how fast the economy is growing in the six to nine months before the election. that's really all that matters. i think -- >> you're the economist. how fast do you think the economy is going to grow? >> i think it's going to do okay. it's going to do something like 3.5%, 4% over the next year which i think will bring unemployment down some. and then it will stall. >> how much? >> it brings us down by a half a point, one point, we're still talking about insanely high unemployment and it would still be insanely high in 2012. >> and that's the reality check i think we have to have here is because in order for that to improve, if barack obama added 2 million jobs in the next 18 months, he loses re-election because basically the unemployment rate has not adjusted. if he adds 2 million jobs in the next 18 months, he has to add 3 million or 4 million or 5 million jobs -- >> in 2012 -- that's the scary thing. what, you know, the regression he actually says is the growth rate in the two quarters preceding the election are what matter. >> the argument, the reason there's so much vitriol surrounding this is this comes at the end of a long
list of liberal disappointments. card check for unions not going to happen, climate change legislation, not going to happen, the epa says we'll do it by regulation. they're now backing off those. guantanamo bay still open. don't ask, don't tell not being repealed. afghan war escalated. federal pay frozen, which goes right at sort of the republican theme that government is the problem. >> s.t.a.r.t., maybe because of the negotiations with jon kyl he'll come around on s.t.a.r.t. >> i don't think any voters care about it. >> the voters might now but the president says he wants it to happen -- >> it might happen but that's not going to appease the liberals in the house. >> no, no. >> but that's what george is talking about. it's not just that their wish list is not fulfilled. it's that in many of those cases the house has gone out and voted and the senate has not, which has put them on alarm which is why -- >> the big thing in this town is not between republicans and democrats, it's between the democratic house members and the democratic senators. >> so do you think -- i mean tomorrow starts the first round of votes on this tax cut. do you think that when it gets
to the house that he will -- the president will get more than just, just the number of democrats he needs to put it over, or will he get many more than that? >> well, i think that he'll -- there will be some level of compromise i'm sure in this package. he'll get a package -- >> where? >> they may have to give up on some of the estate tax cuts or something. there will be some -- >> he indicated no. >> but the interesting thing about this he'll pass something and will get no political benefit from. the president of the united states will get no political benefit from this until at some point the american public has confidence and jobs are being added in the economy. he will not get a benefit -- >> he would have gotten -- he would have gotten a detriment if it had not happened. >> i don't know about that. >> oh, if taxes went up in january, everybody -- who is in the white house? >> i don't know that. i don't foe that. >> he might have gotten some credit for this if he hadn't have come out -- he came out and said the hostage-takers made me do it. the sanctimonious liberals --
and he just -- >> his message wasn't up -- >> his anger was useful. >> the base, he really is the anti-dog wrestler. it's amazing how, you know -- i think george would think that he's given liberals a lot of what they wanted in spite of all those defeats but he manages sort of the opposite of bush. he manages through what he says to convey the message, i'm not really with you. i don't really respect you and it's -- and he did that. that was the most self-indulgent press conference. >> you think about the base in this and for president bush and ronald reagan it doesn't matter if you're generally popular. if you're generally popular, the base will be met. if you're generally unpopular, then it matters. >> to be concluded in the green room. the roundtable will continue in the green room at abcnews.com/thisweek where you can also find our fact checks in conjunction with politifact. we've been talking on this roundtable about tax cuts and stimulating growth. in britain the government has launched drastic spending cuts, austerity, and this week people took to the streets in protest that turned violent. prince charles and his wife
camilla on their way to theater in their 20-foot-long rolls-royce limousine got caught in the melee. it shocked the royals, raised questions about security and brought even more attention to britain's austerity plan. joining me now to discuss the global economy, growth, unemployment is the former british prime minister gordon brown, also former chancellor of the exchequer, what's known here as the treasury secretary. thank you for joining us. >> good to be here. >> and you have a new book "beyond the crash." it's about trying to overcome this crisis that we've had. what does the united states need to do to get this global economy in hand and can it? >> the united states is the leading world part. it is the source of the greatest innovation in technological advance the world has ever seen. it still is. it's got miraculous skills in its economy. the caution is can the world economy restore its high level of growth without people working together? a solution in america is not
going to be enough because, one, you can't have financial stability in one country without having it in another, so you need a global approach to financial stability. secondly, you need a global approach to trade. america benefits from the rapidly rising consumer markets in asia, so america's got to become, if you like, the architect of a new trade agreement and, thirdly, you don't get growth unless you cooperate across nations now, so america should put down the america man for the future rather like the marshall plan in the 1940s and say this is what we've got to do. china's got to consume more. asia's got to consume more. europe has to change its markets. america is prepared to invest in the future while doing fiscal consolidation and that would mean in my view that you would have this exit strategy from a crisis based on high growth and high employment and not low growth and what i fear is high unemployment for a decade. >> well, it seems to be gripping everybody, whether here in the united states or in europe is the idea of debt and so everybody is talking about trying to rebalance and pay off the debt.
>> however, you've got three problems. you've got a fiscal deficit which is inevitable because you lost revenues through the recession but you've got massive bank liabilities as well spilling over into being the fiscal problem, as well. a lot of banks are still not properly capitalized and financial system globalized is not in the best condition. third thing, you haven't got enough growth. so you will always have high unemployment if you can't actually have the growth that is necessary to keep people in jobs. now, i'm saying that america's future will lie not simply in serving its own market here in america, but there's going to be a rapidly rising billion people strong middle class developing in asia wanting to buy the brand goods we produce here in america, wanting to get the most sophisticated products where innovation is greatest and america should look outward so the crisis is benefitting from asian consumer revolution. >> you think it's not. you think it's looking inwards right now. >> i think the danger at the moment people cut back on education which is vital for the future but people cut back on their international contacts
because they think the solutions lie in national answers to the problems when they lie in global cooperation, and i think the danger is you have a 30 star protectionism where people relapse into currency wars as we're seeing or trade wars or banning takeovers that have got cross-border ramifications or simply protectionism in the mind where anti-immigrant sentiment gets to the point where we're not talking to each other which means we have a coordinated world. >> your federal reserve did something and released some evidence that -- quite extraordinary, that british banks were amongst those which were basically bailed out or partly by the fed. is the fed a global central bank? should taxpayers here be doing that? >> i don't think that america uniquely was helping banks in other parts of the world. we were in britain. i mean we had just -- >> but it did do for the usb, barclays. >> but we did for banks operating in britain, as well, so the americans and britons played a global role. there's no doubt about it,
but america and britain were both doing similar things. they were helping foreign banks that were based in their own countries. the question for the long run is how can you have global financial markets within the national regulators? how can you solve the problems where there are instabilities in the global floor of capital when all you have is a regulator sitting in britain or america or somewhere not knowing what's happening in the rest of the world, so the real answer to this is to have proper global financial supervision so that people have some certainty that there is not a race to the bottom in financial standards which is really what happened over the last ten years. a race to the bottom in financial standards and all these terms, cdss, cbos is really jargon for banks betting and speculating with other people's money and you have to have proper supervision. >> gordon brown, thank you very much indeed for joining us. >> thank you. you can see more of my interview with the former prime minister on abcnews.com. coming up next, "in memoriam." and later "the sunday funnies." s." [ s. greenlee ] i would love to have been a musician
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now our picture this week. the empty chair at the nobel peace prize ceremony. the winger this year chinese professor, poet and dissent liu xiaobo, but he's in prison in china, and his wife is also banned from leaving the country. but she sent word that he wanted his award dedicated to those who are massacred in tiananmen in 1989. china's only democracy uprising. and finally on a personal thought our thoughts and prayers are with one of america's most distinguished diplomats, richard holbrooke and his family. he remains in critical condition at a hospital here in washington after surgery to repair a torn aorta. as the president's special representative for afghanistan and pakistan, he is key to the effort to turn that war around. a giant amongst american diplomats, the president also has issued a statement extending his prayers for his recovery.